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Blog: Geo-ICT Training Center, The Netherlands exists 10 years
10 years of Geo-ICT Training Center, Nederland
Giving and sharing, that’s what it is all about !
By Anton Schutte, director of Geo-ICT Training Center, Nederland
Apeldoorn, December 2020
At the end of December, our company, Geo-ICT Training Center, Nederland, celebrates its 10th birthday. Throughout our Geo-sector, there has been a lot of discussion and many meetings about courses and educations, and in particular about the receding numbers of applications for the land surveying courses. The technological developments in general and in ICT in particular seemed to just keep building momentum but our geodesy seemed to fall between two chairs. Which is to say, that is how it felt to me.
Although I was working in ICT and didn’t have much to do with geodesy anymore, it still hit me. Of course, I had also hosted my trainings as part of my work and that was something I really enjoyed. A land surveyor who works in ICT and enjoys teaching. That combination of factors very soon leads you to Geo-ICT Opleidingen BV, trading as Geo-ICT Training Center, Nederland.
A website was built, and a grand 80 CAD and GIS courses were placed onto it right away. At the start of 2010, I printed out an e-mail, which sat on the dining table at my home. It contained these numbers. My wife, Dinie, had scribbled in pencil underneath “95% of which still need to be developed”.
Shortly after, 2 junior lecturers were added: Jeroen van der Zwam and Peter Schols. These 4 lecturers make enormous contributions. We now work with many more lecturers, both employed and freelance, and we’ve hired a group of trainees for whom we strive to be a start-up platform in the Geo-sector.
After 10 years, I feel proud, because we are still here. You see, that wasn’t always a certainty. The right to exist is something you need to prove by enduring for a long time. Secondly, I am proud because it has become a healthy and compact company where the (sometimes harsh) reality is ever present, but which also has space for humour. In addition, I feel grateful for the support, help, advice, and understanding that we’ve received from you, dear reader, and many others.
After my Geodesy studies in Utrecht, in 1983, there was very little work to be found in our profession, the land surveying sector. Geodesy, back then, consisted of surveyors obtaining geometric data on site to supplement and maintain the cadastre’s basic administration, and to assist the construction and engineering professions with dimensioning activities. In Geodesia, the predecessor of Geo-info, there were rarely any vacancies and, when there were, there were many applicants.
So far, everything had been fantastic in my life and on the outside it all looked great. A beautiful wife, my own home, a good job, and a brand new car. And yet, around my 27th, I went through a period of real internal conflict.
Every (young) person goes through such a period and for some it is worse than others. One way of getting to know yourself is by hitting rock bottom. And then having to get up (again) and live your life.
Nowadays, when I talk to young people, I often feel that I really don’t want them to end up not really belonging here nor there. That they, regardless of what they may have done so far, need to be brought into the labour process in a good way and need to start earning their living. So that they can function in society by taking their own responsibility.
When you take responsibility, you become part of it, you start sharing and giving. And that is where real happiness is found. Not ‘getting’ and ‘having’ but ‘sharing’ and ‘giving’. You can’t really see the light without having been in the dark. In dark times, other things light up. You start looking at yourself and stop taking yourself too seriously. You see a process of thoughts taking place in your head and you can’t silence them. Let the thoughts come and go. It is not that important. But, anyway, it is really not going well with the earth. The climate is changing, the icecaps are melting and yhe sea level is rising. There is a lot of hate in the world. There are groups of people who seek to exterminate other groups of people. Large groups of powerful men who own airplanes, have been abusing women and children for years.
There is a lot of poverty, hunger, sadness, and war. Finally, there is a group of apostles who are so awed by this that they are beginning to fantasize (conspiracy?) theories of biblical proportions. And they’re able to put them into poetic and romanticised words. You run into these scribes on Facebook. They are regular people, like you and me.
The fact however is that there are some things we don’t know and may never find out. People are learning to deal with that better and better. Human thinking is starting to mature, and we no longer need to go completely off the rails and put stock into invented stories. However great they sound, and however populist, wealthy, and powerful the people are who invented them and (let others) read them out.
If you’re young now and you are just starting your own life, that also means that in the next 100 years a lot is going to happen, there will be a lot to experience, a lot to enjoy. You are at the beginning of an expedition filled with adventure. The world is literally and figuratively at your feet and the water is up to your nose. All these downsides, dark clouds and storms (often in a teacup) are also advantages, lights shining through, and challenges. Especially if you’re Dutch. If you adjust your thinking towards excess and prosperity, or you just take a look in your refrigerator, you’ll see that you can have anything you want in this country.
But you do have to go out there to get it. If you just have it handed to you, you won’t really enjoy it. You have to go on, search and persevere to the point where you’ve found your passion. Don’t let anyone tell you what to think.
If you had been born 200 years ago, you could’ve raced a horse across the prairie in Texas and become a wild west hero. If you had been a Viking in the 8th and 9th century, you could’ve gone out to plunder the countries of Europe in your bare chest instead of a yellow hi-vis jacket. Just watch the series on Netflix and see for yourself. Every era has and had its own disasters and its charms. So, just get out there and go for it.
In the last 10 years, I discovered that if you do something that seems useful, and that you enjoy doing, and that your body and mind are able to keep doing, life is just such a joy. I have so immensely enjoyed the last 10 years that, if I could, I would do it all again for free, without pay.
The land surveying sector back then had one basic administration (cadastre) and served two professions (construction and engineering). The last few years, this has grown into a geo-sector that looks after various basic administrations (BGT, BAG, WOZ, BRT) and almost every professional field uses the geo-data we obtain, update, maintain, and publish.
Working in the geo-sector means you’re doing something useful for the earth. Because whether you’re collecting geo-information using drones, from satellites in space, or you’re ankle-deep in the mud with your surveying equipment, you’re contributing to the big challenges that we, as humanity, are facing: adjusting to climate change, implementing the energy transition, and developing smart cities with thousands of new homes.
The geo-sector is a growth market because we do nothing else than sharing and giving geo-information. That is how we serve mother earth and all of its lifeforms. This is turning into a virus that is slowly making all of us deal sustainably with each other and with the earth. A virus that is much more powerful than other viruses. Corona is still keeping us pretty busy but the end in sight. Dear readers, from our offices in Apeldoorn, I wish you happy holidays and a great start for 2021.
All the best throughout this lockdown, which is set to last at least until the 19th of January 2021. The downside of a tunnel is that it can be long and narrow. The upside is that you know where you’re going. At the end of it, you can see a light. And that light is meant for everyone. No matter if you’re yellow, black, white, red, orange, or brown.
Have a great 2021. The year of giving and sharing.
That is what it is all about !
Geo-ICT Training Center, Nederland